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8×8 slam series

The 8×8 slam series at the Boston Poetry Slam dates back to 1993, when a championship series was devised to create a reigning Champion of Champions, an ongoing title that awards a $100 prize. The Champion of Champions format was taken from Korean ssireum (a wrestling art similar to sumo) and originally designed to avoid the intimidating possibility of facing Patricia Smith in a slam every week.

Starting in 2012, the original twelve-night series was be abbreviated to nine nights: eight open slams culminate in a single Champion of Champions match. For the dates and competitors qualified for the next Champion of Champions match, see the current 8×8 standings.

Slams in the 8×8 series are open to anyone who wants to slam; interested poets should read over the 8×8 rules and format. Poets new to slamming are encouraged to browse the guide for first-time slammers.

The open slams in the 8×8 series also serve as qualifiers for the venue’s representatives to the National Poetry Slam and the Individual World Poetry Slam.